Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,583 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard that body fat is something like 3k calories, and that muscle weighs more than fat.

Has anyone figured out how to determine what amount of muscle is gained and fat lost during periods of training?

I think you could use starting weight ending weight and body fat % to determine the loss and or gain, but I am curious about details as in how much intake of food with output of exercise creates X amount of muscle on the body while burning off Y amount of fat.
 

·
Lost in the Black Hills
Joined
·
188 Posts
151 said:
I have heard that body fat is something like 3k calories, and that muscle weighs more than fat.

Has anyone figured out how to determine what amount of muscle is gained and fat lost during periods of training?

I think you could use starting weight ending weight and body fat % to determine the loss and or gain, but I am curious about details as in how much intake of food with output of exercise creates X amount of muscle on the body while burning off Y amount of fat.
we all are....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,544 Posts
No formula possible

151 said:
I have heard that body fat is something like 3k calories, and that muscle weighs more than fat.

Has anyone figured out how to determine what amount of muscle is gained and fat lost during periods of training?

I think you could use starting weight ending weight and body fat % to determine the loss and or gain, but I am curious about details as in how much intake of food with output of exercise creates X amount of muscle on the body while burning off Y amount of fat.
There is no way to do this calculation. First and foremost, there is a wide range of body response. Add to that the wide range of exercise intensity and the fact that your body adapts to both the exercise load and dietary changes, and you are left with a complete imponderable. The only way to determine this would be retrospectively: you take body fat measurements before and after along with body weight. And even that would not necessarily extrapolate to the next increment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
You cannot lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. The body requires an excess of calories (especially protein calories) in order to build muscle.

And muscle does not "weigh more than fat". Such a statement doesn't even make sense. Muscle is denser than fat though (meaning a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat does).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
pacificaslim said:
You cannot lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. The body requires an excess of calories (especially protein calories) in order to build muscle.
.
Wrong. It is hard to build muscle while losing fat, but it is not imposible. You need appropriate stimulus (resistance training) and higher protein intake to maintain and stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS). If your energy deficit is not severe, protein intake is optimal, and RT is enough to stimulate MPS, you can gain LBM while losing fat mass.

However, for all practical purposes in most people, it is best to focus on one or the other.

Effect of a hypocaloric diet, increased protein intake and resistance training on lean mass gains and fat mass loss in overweight police officers.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10838463
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
Sorry, "for all practical purposes", people living a normal life (as opposed to being given a specific plan by scientists), will not gain muscle and lose weight at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
pacificaslim said:
Sorry, "for all practical purposes", people living a normal life (as opposed to being given a specific plan by scientists), will not gain muscle and lose weight at the same time.
Back in my bodybuilding days, when I ate the pretty much the same thing everyday,weighed and portioned for macronutriet and calories, I was able to maintain my weight and gain LBM and lose Fat mass at the same time measured by DEXA. There were a few other guys at my gym who did the same thing.

I guess competative bodybuilders don't live normal lives though. And I wasn't trying to be offensive. Just stating the facts. Don't take it personal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
For the OP question:

The actual body weight loss to calorie deficit is complicated as Kerry said. A pound of fat actually contains approximatly 4077 calories (453grams/lb * 9 kcal/gram).

Thus in theory, to lose 1lb of fat, you have to create a deficit of 4077 kcals. The 3500 kcal is a mix of substrate (glycogen+water, protein(water), and fat) that is based on old equations by Forbes. The old 500 kcal a day deficit by 7 days = 3500kcals works pretty well at first though.

Additional complications include
1. diet composition (how much protein/fat/carbs) are you ingesting.
2. Resistance training with adequate protein increases fat mass loss and reduces lean tissue loss
3. Over time, energy requirements of the new lower weight as reduced. This can be due to decreased BMR and/or decreased calorie expendature due to carrying less weight
4. Initial fat % influences fat/lean loss as well.

Basically, if you want to lose fat and mainain lean muscle, you have to eat adequate protein and do exercise (ideally some RT 2x/week) and create a calorie deficit.

And there is still not a simple "answer".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,583 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is a better chance than not that I do not understand, but doesn't the body use fat and carbs for energy to work out? Where we tear down muscle that then uses energy and protien to rebuild?

So isn't it as simple as eating fat and carbs to fuel exercise and recovery, and protien for growth?

If you deduct a little of the fat and carbs would the body use stored fat as fuel for exercise and recovery, leaving you with a loss of fat and a gain of muscle?

And I am assuming it takes more energy (by weight) to create muscle than you end up with on your frame. Meaning you burn fat gain muscle and lose weight.

That may be far from what actualy happens. I do know though that for the past year I have been losing weight all while my muscles especially my legs were growing.

And it makes perfect sense to me that muscle weighs more than fat. The volume is silent in the statement. I just do not need to explain the question here as one would to a child that does not understand density and volume.

It doesn't say much for my posting skills that someone thought they needed to explain that to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
While your initial question is almost impossible to answer, I'm hoping that my response, in addition to everything sdeeer has said, will at least shed some light onto the subject.

The body "prefers" to use certain sources as primary sources for energy. We're always burning carbs, fat, and even a tiny bit of protein at the same time simply because of our metabolism, but the ratio of carbs consumed in comparison to the other sources is much much higher. Once carbs are depleted, the primary source moves to fat, and after that, protein.

So isn't it as simple as eating fat and carbs to fuel exercise and recovery, and protien for growth?
Yes, but you're confusing two concepts. Growth and recovery are more or less in the same category when it comes to the use of nutrients. You never want to consider eating fat as fuel, but more as an essential nutrient to stay healthy. Your body needs certain fats (Omega-3 Fatty Acids and all that good stuff), but that's a different subject.

Carbohydrates = Fuel
Protein = Recovery AND Growth

After a long ride, you're generally low on glycogen, and ingesting carbohydrates allows you to refill that supply. Think of it more as refilling the gas tank rather than recovering.

When you exercise, you experience DOMS: Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. This is theorized to be caused by two major concepts: Microtrauma and Oxidative stress. Microtrauma is basically exactly what the name says. Microscopic amounts of trauma, called microtears, in the muscle tissues. Oxidative stress causes damage to the muscle due to higher oxygen consumption resulting in electron transfers. It's believed that the soreness is actually due to the rebuilding and hypertrophy of muscles rather than the actual damage. Rebuilding and hypertrophy is primarily fueled by protein. Certain types of muscle (slow-twitch vs fast-twitch) are more prone to the different types of damage.

If you deduct a little of the fat and carbs would the body use stored fat as fuel for exercise and recovery, leaving you with a loss of fat and a gain of muscle?
Yes for exercise, not so much for recovery. Like I said before, when you've depleted your carbohydrate energy, you move onto stored fat as a primary energy source. This is where most athletes "bonk." They have no readily accessible energy, so their bodies have to use fat, which is a far less efficient process. People trying to lose weight are generally consuming less carbohydrates so they enter this state faster and burn more fat. A high protein intake can help to offset muscle loss and even promote gaining lean body mass. It's difficult, but can be accomplished with the right diet and exercise program. With a low protein intake, it takes longer for you to recover since the entire recovery and growth phase is pretty much fueled solely by protein. However, an increase in muscle mass also increases the amount of calories you burn at rest, which can lead to more fat loss.

That's probably more information than you wanted, but whatever. Hope it helps.
 

·
I ride in circles..
Joined
·
4,645 Posts
You can use a mirror and a scale..

I've been hovering around 170-173 for the past month or so. I continue to shrink and I've went down to smaller clothing all the way around. However my weight has remained the same. Looking in the mirror I can easily see this change. Eventually I hope my body starts losing weight again though.. Easier to lose some weight than raise your FTP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
ZoSoSwiM said:
.. Easier to lose some weight than raise your FTP.
That is often true. But make sure that you keep track of FTP or performance.

We do DEXA (BF%) scans for collegiate athletes. The coaches for some of the teams are dead set on an "optimal wieght" for each athlete to be at in the peak of the season, but have not considered the effects of that weight and how they get to that weight on the all important power to weight ratio. Some of the athletes do not know how to eat to achieve this, so they lose the weight and end up bombing from a performance standpoint.

Just a caution to keep track of performance as you lose weight, because lower FTP and lower weight does not necessarily improve performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,583 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the info guys.


And I didnt mean to sound like a dick about the whole density/volume thing. I guess my pride got dented a little.

I will say I am glad there are so many smart well informed folks on RBR. if you guys hadn't probably seen it yourselves I would say you would not believe some of the info that gets spread on the interweeby about health and fitness and human performance.

I have a question about burning fat for fuel but I think I'll do a little reading and start a new thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Not that this is practical, but isn't there a way to determine body volume
by submersion into a tank of water and dividing that by weight on a
before and after basis to determine relative fat\muscle composition?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
ZoSoSwiM said:
You can use a mirror and a scale..

I've been hovering around 170-173 for the past month or so. I continue to shrink and I've went down to smaller clothing all the way around. However my weight has remained the same. Looking in the mirror I can easily see this change. Eventually I hope my body starts losing weight again though.. Easier to lose some weight than raise your FTP.
This has been happening to me recently. I have definitely noticed that I've lost weight, but the number on the scale isn't changing. I don't believe that I am gaining muscle in my legs because they seem to have slimmed down. My upper body has also slimmed down. I'm on about a -1000 calorie/day deficit.

Any thoughts? I'm trying to lose about 30 pounds within the next 9 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
fatslowbiker said:
This has been happening to me recently. I have definitely noticed that I've lost weight, but the number on the scale isn't changing. I don't believe that I am gaining muscle in my legs because they seem to have slimmed down. My upper body has also slimmed down. I'm on about a -1000 calorie/day deficit.

Any thoughts? I'm trying to lose about 30 pounds within the next 9 months.
Remember, muscle is more dense than fat. Density = Mass / Volume

Think of it this way: A basket full of feathers, or a basket full of rocks? The baskets hold the same volume, but the difference in content is what decides its weight. From there, you can infer that a smaller basket full of rocks could still weigh more than the basket full of feathers.

The same thing is happening with your body. Fat is squishy and takes up a lot of space. Muscle is dense, so it weighs more, but takes up less space.

So you haven't lost weight. You've lost fat, and the volume of muscle it takes to make up for the loss of weight in fat is far less. Consequently, you get smaller, but you don't get any lighter.

Focus less on weight and more on body composition. You could be 5'9" 150lbs and be chubby because you have a high percentage of body fat and no muscle. Inversely, you could be 5'9" 190lbs and be absolutely ripped without an ounce of fat on your body and be all muscle.

Of course, eventually it'll even out and your actual weight will drop as the amount of fat you lose surpasses the limited hypertrophy of slow-twitch muscles, especially as your metabolism gets higher to match the increase in fitness.

Try taking pictures of yourself in your underwear every 20 to 30 days. You'd be surprised at the changes you'll see not just in terms of fat loss, but also the shape and size of your actual muscles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Wow, thanks for that detailed answer. Exactly what I was looking for! So you're saying that if I keep up with a caloric deficit, I will eventually start losing a bit of muscle as well, allowing me to be able to meet my 30 pound weight loss? I'm just trying to meet a weight class that I was in prior to injury/gaining a lot of unnecessary weight. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
Bottom line: If you are not losing weight, you are eating too much. People like to pretend that they are eating a calorie deficit but because they are working out they aren't losing weight because they are building muscle and that's denser than fat and blah, blah, blah but that's incorrect. It's not like fat is transformed into muscle in the body and suddenly it weighs more! That added weight has to enter your body through your mouth.

There is only one way a body can get heavier or maintain its weight: through its mouth. So if you are gaining, or not losing, it's because you are eating too much for your metabolism.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top